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Beer is a popular drink in the Hawaiian islands, enjoyed responsibly by many residents and visitors. If you’re wondering about policies on beer sales in Hawaii, here’s a quick overview: The state prohibits beer sales between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Certain counties and venues have additional restrictions.

We’ll provide more details below on Hawaii’s beer sale regulations and the rationale behind them.

Statewide Limits on Late Night Beer Sales

Summary of policy

Hawaii has a statewide policy that prohibits the sale of beer between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. This policy, which has been in place for decades, applies to all bars, restaurants, and stores across the islands.

The purpose is to limit late night alcohol consumption and curb issues like drunk driving and rowdy bar behavior during the early morning hours.

There are a few exceptions – hotels can still serve beer to registered guests during the restricted hours, and establishments with a cabaret license can serve beer until 4 a.m. But the vast majority of businesses must comply with the 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. beer sale ban.

Rationale and effects

The statewide policy restricting late night beer sales was implemented to promote public health and safety. Studies showed a spike in alcohol-related incidents like drunk driving and assault during the late night and early morning hours.

So limiting access to beer during this high-risk time frame aimed to curb dangerous drinking behavior.

And the policy does seem to be achieving some of those goals. For example, drunk driving arrests dropped 12% in the first year after the restricted beer sale hours were implemented. Supporters argue it has created a statewide “cooling off” period that gives late night revelers time to sober up before drinking again at 6 a.m.

However, some critics argue that determined drinkers will simply switch to hard liquor or stock up on beer before 2 a.m. There are also concerns that the restricted hours have hurt the revenue of small bars and nightlife establishments.

Overall though, Hawaii’s limits on late night beer sales are seen as a reasonable public health measure by most residents.

County and City Regulations

Honolulu (Oahu)

The city and county of Honolulu, which covers the island of Oahu, has laws allowing beer sales between 6 AM and 2 AM each day. Retailers must obtain a liquor license in order to sell beer. There are no county-specific taxes on beer sales, just the state excise tax.

Interestingly, according to government surveys, Oahu residents consume more beer per capita than those living on other islands.

Maui County

Maui County includes the islands of Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe. The county allows beer sales daily from 6 AM to 2 AM, similar to Honolulu. Special liquor licenses are required for retailers selling beer.

In 2021, yearly beer sales totaled $81.6 million in Maui County according to industry data. The popular Maui Brewing Company with its delicious craft beers is based in Kihei.

Kauai County

Kauai County covers the gorgeous island of Kauai. Retailers can sell beer daily from 6 AM to 2 AM with an approved liquor license. In 2021, Kauai saw over $18 million in beer purchases. Kauai Beer Company and Kauai Island Brewery are two local breweries calling the island home.

They create exceptional ales that no visitor should miss!

Hawaii County

Hawaii County governs the Island of Hawaiʻi. Authorized retailers can sell beer between 6 AM and 2 AM each day. According to 2021 industry reports, yearly beer sales reached nearly $54 million. Two excellent Hawaii Island breweries are Mehana Brewing Company in Hilo and Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea.

Their handcrafted beers beautifully incorporate local ingredients and flavors.

Regulations at Specific Venues

Bars and restaurants

Bars and restaurants in Hawaii have specific regulations regarding beer sales and consumption. Per state law, beer with an alcohol content of up to 6% can be sold for on-premises consumption from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

Establishments must obtain the appropriate liquor license from the county in order to serve beer. Popular draft beers served in Hawaii bars and restaurants include Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager, Maui Brewing Company’s Bikini Blonde Lager, and Ola Brew Co.’s Waialua Brown Ale.

Grocery and convenience stores

Grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers can sell beer for off-premises consumption with the proper county permit between the hours of 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. Statewide data shows that craft beers are gaining popularity amongst Hawaii residents, with sales increasing 15% year-over-year.

Top-selling packaged beers at grocery and convenience stores include:

  • Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale
  • Maui Brewing Company’s Bikini Blonde Lager
  • Ola Brew Co.’s Pau Hana Pilsner

Stadiums and arenas

Beer sales are permitted at stadiums, arenas, concert venues, and other large entertainment venues in Hawaii. However, additional restrictions may apply depending on the specific county and venue policies.

For example, beer with higher alcohol content may be allowed and sale hours can be extended for special events. Venues must obtain a county liquor license endorsement and follow guidelines around age verification for alcohol purchases and responsible serving practices.

Popular venues that serve beer in Hawaii include:

Venue Popular Beers Served Avg. Attendance
Aloha Stadium Maui Brewing Co. beers 20,000
Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena Kona Brewing Co. beers 7,500
Waikiki Shell Hawaii Nui Brewing beers 2,000


In summary, Hawaii prohibits beer sales statewide from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. Some counties and individual venues have additional restrictions in the interest of public health and safety. Following the regulations on beer sales demonstrates responsibility and respect for Hawaii’s communities.

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